The effects that drugs have on the body

Brain imageEven if drug use doesnt lead to addiction, it can still have a huge impact on the body. Here we highlight the most commonly used drugs in the UK and how it can affect your mood, brain, body and even worsen health problems.


Earlier this year it was revealed that one in 10 people admit to having used cocaine in the last year - making it one of the most commonly used substances in the UK.

Despite having a safereputation, it has been proven to cause irreversible damage to the nervous system and lead to blindness and stokes. It also causes blood vessels to restrict which increases blood pressure and can also cause infertility and decreased sex drive.


In the 1950s, heroin use in the UK was relatively unheard of but by 2013, a Crime Survey for England and Wales revealed that around 200,000 people have tried it at some point in their life.

Heroin is often thought of as the most dangerous and scariest drug and theres good reason for it. The extra opiates and dopamine that are found in this drug can completely change the chemistry of the brain. It can lead to bacterial infections in blood vessels and the heart, cause kidney or liver disease and can also cause infertility.


Most of us wont have heard the term tranquiliserbeing used in the context of drug abuse but its possibly the one that affects more of us than any other drug. Tranquillisers are usually prescribed by doctors as short-term treatments for depression, anxiety, stress and even insomnia. Whilst proper use as advised by a doctor for a short period is unlikely to cause any lasting damage, over-use or addiction can have many side-effects.

They can increase blood pressure and heart rate, when mixed with alcohol they can cause liver damage and they too can lead to infertility.

If you think that you or someone you know could have a drug addiction, please feel free to visit our Drug Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.

The effects that drugs have on the body - part two
A rising number of students are seeking help for s...